Forward 2016

Building the Social Justice University

Forward is a weekend gathering for community activists, students, and educators seeking intensive training blended with freewheeling discussion and relaxation. In keeping with the Wisconsin Idea, its central goal is to provide participants the opportunity to build relationships, strengthen networks, and develop visions and strategies for progressive change on campus and within the broader community. 

Previously known as RadFest, this is a participant driven forum that builds on more than three decades of gatherings hosted by the Havens Center. Join us June 3-5 at Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center, a beautiful UW extension facility located on the Wisconsin River just north of the Dells. There will be time for hiking, canoeing, bonfires and music, as well as free childcare.

The theme for 2016 is "Building the Social Justice University." It's no secret that universities don't live up to their potential as resources for social justice. How can students and educators become more relevant for social justice both on and off campus? This gathering is an opportunity to address this question directly.

In particular, it will focus on 3 general themes: (1) The Workplace of Higher Education; (2) Social Justice Research; and (3) Campus-Community Organizing. We are looking for proposals of discussions that would fit under these three themes, broadly defined. 

A partial list of presenters includes:

  • Sergio Gonzalez, Teaching Assistants Association, AFT-3220
  • Michael Davis, UW-Madison graduate student and Freedom Inc. activist
  • Jeanette Gabriel, Campaign to Organize Graduate Students, UE-896, University of Iowa
  • Jon Shelton, AFT-6511, Democracy and Justice Studies, UW-Green Bay
  • Z! Haukeness, Racial Justice Tipping Point Campaign, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
  • Nicole Rudisill, Campus Women's Center
  • Luke Gangler, Student Labor Action Coalition
  • Juli Hinds, Edgewood College
  • Lydia ZepedaConsumer Science, UW-Madison
  • Pam Oliver, Sociology, UW-Madison

We hope you will contribute to making Forward 2016 an exciting and productive event. The cost of the gathering, including lodging and meals, is very modest and determined by ability to pay. Register here! The registration deadline is May 23, so don't delay.

For more information, or to propose a session, contact Patrick Barrett at or call 608-262-0854.